Evaluation of Nutritional and Phytochemical Aspects of Some Indigenous Alternative Food Plants to Improve the Health Status of Tribal Children in Southern Madhya Pradesh of Central India

By Sanjay Nagar, Preeti Barua Tiwari and Pranoti Belapurkar.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

India is among the countries where childhood malnutrition is severe. Central India, which constitutes mainly of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and its adjoining area, holds 23% of the total population of the country. Madhya Pradesh is situated in heart of India and has largest concentration for tribal population which is about 9.68 millions which is confined to the southern part of the state. The project analyses the health and nutritional status of tribal children in Jhabua and Dhar districts of Southern Madhya Pradesh. Tribal groups of these districts possess a great deal of knowledge on the various plant resources. The main objective of this work was to support research on viable approaches for the sustainable production and processing of indigenous alternative food plants to improve the health status of the tribal children. For the present study, six plant species were selected viz., Oxalis corniculata Linn., Moringa oleifera Lam., Cassia fistula Linn., Cassia obtusifolia Linn., Amaranthus viridis Linn. and Abutilon indicum Linn. We compared the average nutritional values of various plants parts viz., leave and seeds to ensure their role to combat malnutrition. Besides nutritional properties, anti-nutritional properties of the same plants were also studied, which included estimation of total alkaloids, tannins and phenolics. Our work focused on encouraging the women of targeted tribal population to actively engage in learning the methods of sustainable cultivation of these plants and use them in their daily food to enhance their as well as their family’s overall health status. The tribal women were trained with the help of field exercises to cultivate these alternative food plants, whose nutritional status and phytochemistry was established with the help of laboratory exercises.

Keywords: Alternative Food Plants, Malnutrition, Tribal Population of Southern M.P. Nutritional and Phytochemical Components

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.71-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 705.953KB).

Dr. Sanjay Nagar

Professor and Head, Department of Biotechnology, IPS Academy, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

I have been into teaching and research since last 25 years. I am a graduate and a post graduate in Biochemistry from DAVV university, Indore (M.P.). My Ph. D. work was on biochemistry of some medicinal plants. I have over 15 research/ review articals published in various national journals. My major area of interest has been different aspects related to medicinal plants. I am currently pursuing a project on solid waste management by vermicomposting. Since past few years I have been actively engaged in assessing the health status of the tribal children of central India and also am implementing the outcome of the research work for their betterment.

Dr. Preeti Barua Tiwari

Assistant Professor, Department Of Biotechnology, IPS Academy, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

I am a science graduate and a post graduate in Botany, with doctrate in nutritional aspects of alternative food plants from Jiwaji University, Gwalior (M.P.). I have been actively involved in research for past 8 years and simultaneously in teaching for past 4 years. I have over nine research papers and abstracts published in national journals. I am still continuing my research on different emergency food plants consumed by different tribes of M.P. Currently, I am focusing my interest in micropropagation of such emergengy food plants.

Dr. Pranoti Belapurkar

Assistant Professor, Department Of Biotechnology, IPS Academy, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

I am a science graduate and a post graduate in Microbiology with a doctrate degree in Allergic Aspergillosis from Jiwaji University, Gwalior (M.P.). I have 12 years of teaching and 10 years of research experience. I have been working in various feilds of microbiology viz., food, water and medical microbiology. I have over eight research papers and abstracts published in national journals. Presently I am associated with assessing the antimicrobial and phytochemical properties of various medicinal plants. I am also working on a project based on improving the condition of malnourished tribal children of southern M.P.

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